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  • Reuben Obery

New beginnings




Before lockdown many of our lives were running at full pelt. Our days filled with busyness and hours filled with striving. For some, there wasn’t the time to stop, look or listen. So many wonderful things had gone unnoticed and hidden by the noise around.


Things seem different now. Things appear simpler and days less busy. Sadly, for some, this lockdown has brought a new loneliness and a distancing from loved ones. Things have changed and the world looks different. A simple handshake, hug or warm embrace has disappeared. We now have to work harder at keeping friendships, alter our daily pattern to include things we perhaps wouldn’t have done before.


“Behold, I am doing something new.”


The evening sky appears clearer now, the stars shine brighter as the Heavens declare the Glory of its Creator. Birdsong seems louder, trees and plants greener.


“Behold, I am doing something new.”


The Christmas before last, I was given a rather strange looking ‘thing’. There were no instructions with it, and it appeared to be a crumpled, lifeless ‘thing’. It had come from China and I thought it had died on its 5,000 mile journey. I didn’t give it too much thought and put it in a drawer.



Like many others, this time in lockdown has given me the chance to tidy and clear out drawers and cupboards in my bedroom that contain forgotten, unwanted and unloved items. Some from my primary school days and others from more recent times. Today, I started on my final drawer. The drawer that has housed the dead ‘thing’ for months. I took it out and was going to throw it away. The sight of it jogged a memory of something I had recently come across on a website. After further research, Google told me that it was a plant called the Rose of Jericho. The Resurrection Plant.


“Behold, I am doing something new.”


The Rose of Jericho “grows in dry deserts where it is perfectly adapted to survive, even when there is no water available for years at a stretch” (farmergracy.co.uk). As soon as moisture is available the dead, lifeless plant absorbs the life-giving water and begins to change in appearance.



Revelation 21 v 5 tells us that He who sits on the throne says, “Behold I am doing something new.” This time of lockdown appears to be a time to rest. Reset. Change. Growth. Time to absorb the life-giving water. The more water the Rose of Jericho absorbs the more it unfurls its leafy fronds and hints at what it was created to be.


During this time, may we make time to stop, look and listen. May we sink our roots deep into the life-giving source that is Jesus. May we absorb all we need to sustain and grow, so that we will be changed, not stay how we were before and become something new.


Reuben

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